|Southwest Asia News Digest
Cheney's Neo-Cons Pushed Israel To Attack Syria in Lebanon War
A top Israeli-American neo-con confirmed in an interview with Ynet, published on Dec. 18, that Vice President Dick Cheney and the neo-cons wanted Israel to attack Syria during the Lebanon War. Under the headline, "Co-Author of "Clean Break" Confirms: Cheney Pushed Israel To Attack Syria in July 2006," Ynet wrote: "Among the few remaining neo-cons is David Wurmser, an advisor for Vice President Dick Cheney.... Wurmser is a Middle East expert, just like his wife, Israeli Meyrav Wurmser, a researcher at the conservative Hudson Institute." Ynet, the online news service for Yediot Ahronot, Israel's largest-circulation newspaper, says that although the neo-cons are "no longer part of the government, it turns out they're still one big happy family,"
According to Meyrav Wurmser, the neo-cons are not responsible for the disaster in Iraq: "We expressed ideas, but the policy in Iraq was taken out of neo-con hands very quickly. The final decisions were not in their hands," she said. Now that the neo-cons are out of the administration, she warned, "they will be able to convey all the criticism they kept inside."
Regarding the Israel-Lebanon War she said, "Hezbollah defeated Israel in the war. This is the first war Israel lost.... Yes, there is no doubt. It's not something one can argue about it. There is a lot of anger at Israel.... I know this will annoy many of your readers. But the anger is over the fact that Israel did not fight against the Syrians. Instead of Israel fighting against Hezbollah, many parts of the American administration believe that Israel should have fought against the real enemy, which is Syria and not Hezbollah." Does the administration expect Israel to attack Syria, asked Ynet. She replied, "They hoped Israel would do it. You cannot come to another country and order it to launch a war, but there was hope, and more than hope, that Israel would do the right thing. It would have served both the American and Israeli interests. The neo-cons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space. They believed that Israel should be allowed to win. A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hezbollah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran, but they thought was that its strategic and important ally should be hit.... If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran, that it would have weakened it and changed the strategic map in the Middle East. The final outcome is that Israel did not do it. It fought the wrong war and lost. Instead of a strategic war that would serve Israel's objectives, as well as the U.S. objectives in Iraq. If Syria had been defeated, the rebellion in Iraq would have ended."
As EIR has reported, the 1996 study, "Clean Break: A New Strategy for the Realm," coauthored by Wurmser and her husband David, called for "regime change" in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and for abrogation of the Oslo Accords, and termination of plans for the creation of a Palestinian Authority, or future Palestinian state. The other coauthors include former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Douglas Feith, and former head of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, both architects of the illegal Iraq war, and insiders in the creation of concocted intelligence reports that misled Congress into authorizing action against Iraq. The "criticism" being voiced by Meyrav Wurmser in Ynet parallels statements by Perle in Vanity Fair (Nov. 3, 2006) claiming that the Iraq war was a failure because the administration did not follow the neo-cons' program for victory. In fact, the only real strategy that the neo-cons had was the perpetual war plan set forth in the Clean Break.
Iranian Religious Leader Denounces Plot To Pit Sunnis vs. Shi'ites
Ayatollah Emami Kashani, speaking as substitute prayer leader in Tehran Dec. 28, warned Muslims against plots cooked up by the West to sow discord among the Shi'a and Sunni, IRNA reported Dec. 29. "The enemy is preparing a massive plan for the Islamic world and for the entire region," he said, addressing worshipers at Tehran University.
In his view, after the Western states were obliged to admit the defeat of their policies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, they decided to set up this new plan for sectarian strife, and he regretted that some Muslims were falling into the trap. He called for unity among Muslim countries.
Egypt Will Not Supply Weapons for Palestinian Civil War
Egyptian-supplied weapons will not be used for a Palestinian civil war, declared the Popular Resistance Committees, consisting of ex-Fatah members, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, according to reports in Ynet and the Washington Post Dec. 29. "We vow to show the Israelis very soon [that] the weapons they lately channeled to the Presidential Guards and to the security services will be directed against the occupation," said Muhammad Abdel Al, a spokesperson for the group. "In all the security services, including in the Presidential Guard, there are activists affiliated with all the Palestinian groups, including ours, and Hamas." He added that, instead of those weapons being used in a civil war, "we promise that should these arms reach us we will use them against the occupation and the Zionist enemy."
Meanwhile, Ahmed Youssef, a spokesman for Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that Egyptian officials had assured him that no weapons had been sent. He charged that Israel was spreading false rumors about an arms shipment in "an attempt to increase tensions among the Palestinians."
Abbas, Haniyeh Talk by Phone
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh by phone Dec. 28, before Haniyeh departed to resume his tour of Arab countries that he interrupted earlier this month. "The President wished his Prime Minister a successful journey, and the Prime Minister thanked him for his care," an aide to Haniyeh told Reuters. Abbas's office confirmed the call. Haniyeh said arrangements are being made for he and Abbas to meet in Amman, Jordan with King Abdullah, the first week in January, to try to work out the political disputes that have prevented the formation of a national unity government. Jordan is expected to be the final stop on Haniyeh's tour, which also includes stops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar to lobby for financial support for the Palestinian Authority.